The dispute between Sony and Disney over the screen rights to Spider-Man has got the Marvel world up in arms, but what does it all mean?
The layman would assume that Marvel owns all of the rights to the heroes it created in every way. Sadly, it's not that simple. The screen rights to various Marvel heroes are split across various different studios. That's why we're yet to see the X-Men and Deadpool team up with the Avengers, and it's also why it took Spider-Man so long to show up in the MCU.
We now know that Spidey would eventually show up in the MCU, and Tom Holland's take on the web-slinger has now shown up in no less five of the franchise's movies. However, you will have likely heard that we may well have seen the last of Spider-Man in the MCU. That's due to Sony still owning the screen rights to the hero, and the studio being unable to hash out a deal with Disney, who owns the screen rights to the rest of the MCU.
Up until now, a deal was in place for Spider-Man to appear in the MCU which majorly favored Sony. Disney received just 5% of the box office for the last two solo Spidey movies, plus any merchandising money made from the flicks. Negotiations have been taking place for months during which Disney suggested a 50/50 split, but Sony wanted to continue with the deal that's already in place.
Since no deal could be agreed, Sony has now taken its ball and gone home. That means, for the time being, Spider-Man can no longer be a part of the MCU. Awkward since Endgame and Far From Home effectively set Peter Parker up to be the Avengers' new leader. Disney has some serious re-writing to do, and we now know why there was no mention of Spider-Man during Marvel's big movie and TV show reveal at San Diego Comic-Con.
As for Holland and Spider-Man, right now we are faced with the not so tantalizing prospect of more Sony Spidey movies without any input from the MCU. Apparently, work will continue on the two Spider-Man movies that have been promised. How Sony will ignore everything that has come before, including the death of Tony Stark and any appearances from Nick Fury, well, we'll just have to wait and see.